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Published on January 3rd, 2019 | by Derek Markham

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New York’s Solar For All Program Will Award No-Cost Community Solar To 10,000 Low Income Residents

January 3rd, 2019 by  


In a bid to reduce the energy costs for low income New York households, while also helping to increase access to renewable energy for both renters and homeowners alike, the state is enabling no-cost community solar for up to 10,000 residents.

community solar in NYIn early December, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) announced the awarding of contracts for 9 community solar projects throughout New York, as part of its “Solar For All” program. These first 9 awards, which are intended to provide community solar access for up to 7,000 eligible low income residents, will be followed by additional round of funding in 2019, which will then expand the number of households t0 10,000, as well as increase the areas served by the program.

For those without the option of installing on-site solar, whether it’s because they don’t own their roof or they can’t afford a full array, or they have other factors which keep them from going solar, there are only a few options for choosing renewable energy. Some utilities offer the choice of a renewable electricity plan, usually at a premium cost, and there are renewable energy certificate programs through companies such as Arcadia Power that will offset your electricity usage with renewables (I am one of their wind power REC customers), and then there are community solar programs, which feed clean energy into the grid to offset their customers’ electricity usage. Although these are not ‘direct’ solar, meaning no actual solar-generated electrons are being fed into the wires in your house, RECs and community solar programs are a viable option for those looking to decrease their carbon footprint and contribute to a cleaner energy system both locally and beyond.

For the first round, the community solar projects which were awarded contracts will serve about 7,000 eligible low income renters or homeowners who get their electricity through NYSEG, National Grid, Central Hudson, or Orange & Rockland. According to NYSERDA, eligibility for these no-cost Solar For All community solar access will be “based on a resident’s location, household income, and annual electric usage.”

This recent boost to low income solar in New York state is part of Governor Cuomo’s NY-Sun program, a 10-year, $1 billion component of Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV), “which aims to create a cleaner, more resilient, and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers.”

The newly awarded Solar For All contracts for community solar projects went to the following areas:

  • Town of Crawford (Mid-Hudson): Clearway Energy Group: Crans Mill is a 2.8 megawatt community solar project of which 1 megawatt will be used to provide no-cost solar subscriptions in Orange and Rockland’s utility territory.
  • Town of Grand Island (Western New York): BlueRock Energy Solar, Inc.: BlueRock Grand Island is a 2.1 megawatt community solar project of which 1 megawatt will be used to provide no-cost solar subscriptions in National Grid’s utility territory in western New York.
  • Town of Johnstown (Mohawk Valley): Common Energy: Johnstown A and B are two community solar projects – 2.8 megawatts and 2.0 megawatts – adjacent to each other, and will provide 1 megawatt each for no-cost solar subscriptions in National Grid’s Capital Region utility territory.
  • Town of Mooers (North Country): Delaware River Solar: Boas #4 is a 2.7 megawatt community solar project of which 1 megawatt will be used to provide no-cost solar subscriptions in NYSEG’s northern New York region as well as the rest of NYSEG’s utility territory.
  • Town of Poughkeepsie (Mid-Hudson): Clearway Energy Group: Underhill is a 3.0 megawatt community solar project of which 1 megawatt will be used to provide no-cost solar subscriptions in Central Hudson’s utility territory.
  • Town of Rochester (Mid-Hudson): Nexamp: Nexamp Rochester is a 5.6 megawatt community solar project of which 1 megawatt will be used to provide no-cost solar subscriptions in Central Hudson’s utility territory.
  • Town of Seneca (Finger Lakes): Nexamp: Nexamp Seneca is a 2.6 megawatt community solar project of which 1 megawatt will be used to provide no-cost solar subscriptions in NYSEG’s Central New York region as well as the rest of NYSEG’s utility territory.
  • Town of Thompson (Mid-Hudson): Delaware River Solar: Sackett Lake is a 2.8 megawatt community solar project of which 1 megawatt will be used to provide no-cost solar subscriptions in NYSEG’s utility territory in the Mohawk Valley region.

For more information on the Solar For All community solar program, including eligibility and sign-up options, see www.nyserda.ny.gov/solarforall
 
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About the Author

Derek lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, fungi, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves fresh roasted chiles, peanut butter on everything, and buckets of coffee. Catch up with Derek on Twitter, Google+, or at his natural parenting site, Natural Papa!



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